Online gambling looks to be one of the industries that will benefit from COVID-19 in 2020.
With bricks and mortar casinos and bookmakers forced to close their doors due to the coronavirus crisis, anyone who likes a bet has had to go online to do so instead.
Online gambling interest has hit an all-time high in the UK during recent weeks, so here are seven facts about the industry that are guaranteed to blow your mind.
1) Slots are the most popular online casino game
Casino classics like blackjack and roulette are still popular games to play at online casinos, but they have been eclipsed by slots in recent years.
An explosion in new online slot games has made them even more appealing, with a lot of new releases based on popular movies or TV shows such as Game of Thrones.
According to data that was released by the UK Online Gambling Commission, online slots gaming increased threefold between the years 2009 and 2015 - a remarkable rise.
2) Growth of the industry gathering pace
It is not in question that online gambling is a fast-expanding sector. Emma Davis from NoDepositExplorer gave us some insight into the potential size of the US iGaming industry.
She said: "The global online gambling market size has been estimated to be worth over $50 billion in 2019, with the US a rapidly expanding market - as can be seen in the most recent data. The sector is expected to reach nearly $60 billion in 2020."
It is not just in the US where online gambling - which is being legalised in an increasing number of states - is rising quickly, with UK users also heading online to bet more and more.
3) UK gambling sector now worth £14.4 billion
The UK's increasing interest in online gambling can be seen in research from Statista.
According to its data from 2018, the gambling sector in the UK is now worth £14.4 billion, which is a sharp rise from around £8.4 billion back in 2011.
The company noted that a 2014 change in legislation for remote gambling is among the reasons for this rise in online betting activity in the UK during recent years.
4) UK gambling sector employs 100,000 people
Statista's research also shows the massive employment provided by the UK's gambling sector.
Its study, which was released in March of this year, found that some 100,000 people are employed in the gambling industry in the UK. The majority of these individuals work on the betting side, although a large number of people are also employed by casinos and bingo halls.
There was also a surprising nugget of information in the study relating to the ownership of gambling companies in the UK. "Over half of gambling enterprises were run by less than 10 people," said the Statista study.
5) Gambling adverts cannot use film or TV characters
Rules and regulations around gambling adverts in the UK are changed on a regular basis.
One of the most recent tweaks saw a ban introduced in gambling companies being able to use characters from television series or movies in order to promote them.
It is also illegal to produce gambling adverts that are targeted at people under the age of 18, which is the legal age for betting in the UK.
However, while these rules and regulations are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority, this body does not have any power to impose fines on firms that break them.
6) UK online gamblers have multiple accounts
It seems as though UK online gamblers do not have a strong loyalty to betting companies.
According to a Gambling Commission piece of research into the behaviour, awareness and attitude of bettors, people who gamble in the UK have an average of three accounts.
This could be for multiple reasons, for example to take advantage of Matched Betting or the various promotions and offers that are run by companies within the gambling industry.
7) Gambling spending on the rise during lockdown
While it might not be surprising to see betting has increased during the UK's lockdown, it is eye-opening to see how much more gambling there has been at this time.
More Gambling Commission data for May shows that compared to April's numbers, there was a rise of 17 per cent in the overall average spend per active customer.
However, the statistics from the body indicates that overall participation in betting has decreased, which will likely come as a shock to many people as well.
Online gambling companies will be hoping for more overall participation in the next data.
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